Splurge vs. Save, Las Vegas Style

Sin city is known for being excessive, exuberant and above all, expensive. Where else can you stay in a hotel room with a two-lane bowling alley for $15,000 a night, hire paparazzi to follow you around for $5,000 or order a FleurBurger at Mandalay Bay for another $5,000?

Whether you want to splurge somewhat responsibly or do it on a dime, we’ve got options for you.

*photo credit: ViewApart - Fotolia.com

*photo credit: ViewApart – Fotolia.com

At some point on your vacation you’re going to want to sleep – trust me. What about the suite Al, Stu, Doug and Phil woke up in during their epic bachelor party weekend? Caesars Palace’s $4,000 a night Forum Tower Emperor’s suite was the inspiration for the hotel room in the movie The Hangover. But if you knock a pair of zeros off the price, you can stay in the heart of the Strip at Bally’s starting at $59 and up.

Only in Vegas can you rent a Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster for a whopping $1,895 per day and still probably not turn heads on the strip. A basic car rental in Vegas can run as low as $9 a day (with free parking, off strip, easy to find), or you can land somewhere in the middle and channel the Rat Pack days by touring the city in an Olds 442 Tribute Convertible, a bargain at just $425 for the day.

At some point you’ll need to eat – if only to soak up all the alcohol. At the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay, splurge on the Rossini, a burger (pictured below) made of Kobe beef, sautéed foie gras, shaved truffles, and Madeira sauce with a hefty $60 price tag. Throwing calorie caution to the wind? Splurge on the 8,000 calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger from the hospital themed Heart Attack Grill, where customers are referred to as “patients” and the waitresses as “nurses.”

*photo credit: MGM Resorts International

*photo credit: MGM Resorts International

If either of those behemoths carry a bill you’re reluctant to pay (caloric or financial), Binion’s Café on Freemont produces tasty $5 burgers made from beef ground fresh daily on location. They’re open 24 hours too!

Vegas and Cirque du Soleil go together like rum and Coke, but who needs a $175 ticket to Michael Jackson’s THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil when The Quad has a Michael Jackson celebrity impersonator perform nightly, for free?

*photo credit: OSA Images

*photo credit: OSA Images

At Treasure Island’s pool, a cabana rental will run you $200-$300 for a weekend, and includes a fruit plate, water and soft drinks, LCD TV, refrigerator, ceiling fan, lounge chairs and cabana host. The hottest pool party in town is at MGM Grand’s Wet Republic, where top international DJs like Steve Aoki (pictured below) play to gorgeous crowds in a private pool. There, a bungalow featuring a private patio, flat screen television, private safes, food, booze, mini refrigerators and personal bartender cost upwards of $2,000 – $3,000.

Wet Republic at MGM Grand (photo credit Sarah Deveau)

*photo credit: Sarah Deveau

You don’t have to take out a second mortgage to enjoy an incredible trip to Vegas. Besides, you probably won’t remember half the trip anyway!

Sarah Deveau

Sarah began freelance writing for the Calgary Herald at the age of 15. Since then, she’s written hundreds of feature articles, book reviews and business, restaurant and individual profiles for magazines and newspapers across Canada. Sarah has three daughters who sometimes accompany her on her travels, and she blogs at Doing All The Things. You can read some of her other travel pieces at http://sarahdeveau.wordpress.com/.

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